It is a magnificent green gemstone, the birthstone for May. Considered among the most rare of gems for centuries, emerald is said to help foretell the future and strengthen one’s memory. Its colour is considered the most soothing and restful to the eye.
The interior of Colombia has always been the most important source of this precious gem. However, in recent years many new sources have emerged including Zambia and Brazil.
Long ago, it was discovered that soaking a rough emerald in colourless oil subdues the natural flaws or “inclusions” found in most stones, and actually improves their transparency. To date, most emeralds are treated in this manner, right at the source. For this reason, ultrasonic cleaners should never be used in cleaning emeralds. The oil may be forced out, thus emphasizing these inclusions. We recommend gentle cleaning with mild soapy water as the correct way to keep emeralds looking their best.
* image courtesy the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA)